Face to Face

Leading the charge in construction

AlKifah Holding’s headquarters in Al Khobar.

As Saudi Arabia pushes ahead with its ambitious Vision 2030 goals, AlKifah Holding isn’t just keeping pace, it’s leading the charge in construction. This prominent conglomerate is a one-stop construction powerhouse, offering everything from expert project consultancy to facility management.

Founded in the 1970s, AlKifah Holding has grown far beyond traditional contracting. It has become a multifaceted group, manufacturing its own precast concrete and equipment, ensuring efficiency and control over projects.

But its true strength lies in collaboration. Each division of AlKifah Holding works in seamless synergy, creating a powerhouse that tackles projects of any scale and complexity. This integrated approach isn’t just convenient, it guarantees successful project delivery, aligned with Saudi Vision 2030’s emphasis on operational excellence.

“We believe in our synergy. By combining our skills and leveraging the strengths of our sister companies, we can deliver optimal projects,” Eng Osama AlAfaleq, Vice-Chairman of AlKifah Holding, tells Gulf Construction in an exclusive interview. “Our clients can trust that we will serve them comprehensively through construction, concrete and precast supply, facility management, and more.”

AlAfaleq ... “We believe in our synergy.”

AlAfaleq ... “We believe in our synergy.”

Initially focused on government contracts, AlKifah Holding has expanded its client base to include major entities like Aramco, Sabic, and the Saudi sovereign fund Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) large companies that have embarked on diverse projects throughout the kingdom.

AlAfaleq acknowledges the cyclical nature of the construction industry and highlights the significant changes under way in Saudi Arabia. Since 2017, the Saudi Contracting Authority (SCA) – where AlAfaleq served as chairman for six years – has worked to make construction processes more transparent and equitable for all stakeholders.

AlKifah Holding is committed to staying at the forefront of industry trends. The company is integrating project delivery methodologies, including design-build-operate, to enhance efficiency and cost-effectiveness for clients.


AlKifah Contracting company

At its affiliate AlKifah Contracting Company, the group has launched a new strategic transformation where it is changing the way projects are handled right from the tendering stage to delivery.

“To submit a strong bid for a project, it’s crucial to understand what it takes to deliver it successfully.  This means simulating the project workflow to identify the resources needed. With this understanding, you can build a realistic budget.  It’s also essential to thoroughly understand the project requirements set by the client. Finally, assemble a team with the right skills to achieve the project goals. By focusing on the project’s best interests from the beginning, you’ll be well-positioned to win the bid and deliver a successful outcome,” AlAfaleq says.


AlKifah Real Estate

Through AlKifah Real Estate, the group is looking at offering a comprehensive service to the realty sector.

“We believe that future projects will be built and managed by the same company, instead of the traditional approach of separate construction and management. The new trend is ‘construct and manage’ - building the project, then operating the facility for at least three years. This ensures responsibility, continuity, and avoids any gaps between phases.  AlKifah Real Estate embodies this approach, offering both construction and facility management services,” he says.

AlAfaleq points out that AlKifah Holding isn’t just building structures, it also manages them afterwards. While in the past, facility managers focused on how many people it took to manage a building, now, they focus on the activities that happen in the building and design the building systems to best support those activities. This way, the building is optimised for both construction cost and long-term operation cost, he emphasises.

Additionally, AlAfaleq highlights the company’s focus on exploring modular construction techniques, which minimise on-site work, leading to faster project completion times and reduced risk factors.

The company has also explored new opportunities in areas like renewable energy, through Enar Renewables. 

AlAfaleq also sheds light on AlKifah Holding’s financial arm, Tamweel Aloula, which has seen double-digit growth. This division provides financial solutions specifically targeted towards small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the industrial sector.


Forward-thinking approach

AlKifah Holding has a forward-thinking approach and is committed to technological advancements.  The company makes extensive use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, a technology that not only enhances design and planning but also fosters better collaboration throughout the construction lifecycle. 

“We’ve been using BIM for years; we constantly strive to push the boundaries of digitalisation across all our operations.  And the key to achieving significant breakthroughs in this field lies in further industrialisation,” he points out.

Furthermore, AlAfaleq expresses the company’s keen interest in the potential of 3D printing for construction applications.  While acknowledging the limitations of the technology at present, he highlights AlKifah Holding’s commitment to exploring its possibilities for future projects.  He emphasises the need for the entire construction industry in Saudi Arabia to invest more heavily in research and development to achieve greater industrialised construction and embrace innovative solutions.

AlAfaleq is optimistic about AlKifah Holding’s future trajectory. The company is actively seeking opportunities to expand its footprint in the burgeoning tourism and entertainment sectors, leveraging its existing expertise in construction and facility management.  This strategic move aligns perfectly with the Saudi Vision 2030, which prioritises the development of these sectors to diversify the economy and create new jobs.

Beyond geographical expansion, AlAfaleq highlights AlKifah Holding’s focus on strengthening its core businesses.  This includes streamlining operations to improve efficiency and effectiveness. The company recognises the need to analyse its strengths and weaknesses, embrace new technologies, and collaborate effectively with stakeholders to achieve its ambitious growth plans. 

Confirming AlKifah Holding’s willingness to adapt and improve in the face of challenges, he says: “Our vision is always to understand where our challenges are, admit, analyse and deal with them, and try to put corrective action to change.”

By capitalising on the significant investments being made by the Saudi government’s national fund, AlKifah Holding is well-positioned to solidify its leadership role in the evolving construction landscape of Saudi Arabia.  The group’s focus on innovation, strategic expansion, and industry collaboration ensures that AlKifah Holding is not only building structures but also building a sustainable future for itself and the construction sector at large.